A Trip with Trouble: The Mountain Lodge Mysteries by Diane Kelly #Review

A Trip with Trouble: The Mountain Lodge Mysteries
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – North Carolina
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (October 25, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250815991
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250815996
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09NKB6M6L

The second in a charming and engrossing cozy series from Diane Kelly, A Trip with Trouble proves that in the Blue Ridge Mountains, life in the fast lane could end in a crash.

When the ladies of the Dangerous Curves Motorcycle Club take over the Mountaintop Lodge for their annual autumn ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Misty Murphy couldn’t be more thrilled. Every room is full and the adventurous women even invite Misty and her assistant Brynn to join them on a ride to admire the colorful fall foliage. Hotel handyman Rocky Crowder is happy to keep an eye on the lodge for the day, and the ladies set out for a fun ride on the scenic road.

The skies are clear, the air is crisp, and the leaves are gorgeous. But what starts as a perfect ride turns worrisome when the tail gunner – the last rider in their group – fails to show up at the Craggy Gardens overlook. Cell phone service is spotty in the remote, mountainous area, and the group is unable to connect with their friend. Might the missing woman have simply run out of gas? Or is something far more sinister afoot?

The ladies are determined to locate their ride or die, and Misty is equally determined to help them. But will they be able to solve the mystery when the scenic route seems intent on hiding its secrets?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s a full house at the Mountaintop Lodge in the Blue Ridge Mountains when the Dangerous Curves Motorcycle Club move in for the week. The women take an annual autumn ride and this year it brings them to Misty’s lodge. Handyman Rocky Crowder offers to take care of the lodge so that Misty and her assistant Brynn can ride along one day and enjoy the women’s company and fall colors.

It is a beautiful day, perfect for leaf peeping but there is trouble on this trip when the riders pull off to stop at the Craggy Gardens overlook. One rider arrives way behind the rest of the group and their leader who was bringing up the rear doesn’t show up at all. She is not answering her radio and the cell service sucks so they find a landline to call the authorities and start a search.

Misty takes the safety of her guests seriously so she and Brynn pitch in to find the missing biker. Rocky steps up to help in any way he can too. Sadly the club leader’s body is found way off the road and her death was no accident. Is there a killer staying at the lodge? or is there someone who has been lurking in the area waiting for the opportunity to take the woman out? Misty is not going to give up until she knows who did the deed and why.

I was excited to catch up with Misty, Brynn, Rocky, and Patty. They have gotten very close after knowing each other for such a short time. Brynn and Misty work together like a well-oiled machine. Patty and Misty have a working relationship but have also become good friends that have each other’s back. Rocky is such a sweet man and I love the way his relationship with Misty is growing. They all feel true-to-life and the excellent character development from the first book continues within the pages of this book. I absolutely love the chapters from Misty’s cat Yeti’s point-of-view.

Ms. Kelly introduces readers to an interesting group of women. The Dangerous Curves Motorcycle Club is made up of women of all ages. Some have ridden together for years, one is new to the group, and the others fall somewhere in between. They appear to mesh together very well until the leader’s death when they start to think one of them may be a killer. We also meet members of the deceased “family” that were making several demands prior to her death. What a bunch! The author did a wonderful job giving each of these characters a unique personality which made it easy to keep everyone straight especially when there were several suspects among them.

The mystery was precisely plotted and flowed well with the necessary subplots. I appreciated the way Misty worked with the police. It shows the maturity of the protagonist and the supporting cast. They took some risks but never ventured into the realm of making stupid moves alone without backup. I enjoyed the way the killer was revealed and was so satisfied that while I didn’t have all the clues firmly in place I still chose the right guilty party.

The Blue Ridge Mountains especially when the leaves are changing and revealing their beautiful colors is a delightful place to set a cozy mystery. Ms. Kelly painted some extraordinary pictures with her words.

My escape into A Trip with Trouble was perfect. The characters are exceptional, the mystery is very well-written, and traveling virtually to North Carolina is always a good time. I wish I could actually visit there at any time of year.

The first book was just as good and I do recommend you read it first to enjoy these characters from the start.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Diane Kelly writes stories that feature feisty female lead characters and their furry, four-footed friends. Diane is the author of over 30 novels and novellas, including the Death & TaxesPaw Enforcement, and House Flipper mystery series. In 2021, she’ll launch two new series, the Southern Homebrew moonshine series and the Mountain Lodge Mysteries.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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